I remember that night, that first night when all my preconceptions were shattered. You see, it was raining. It had been raining for days. I came home cold, tired and in need of a drink. I took a quick shower, wrapped my hair in a towel, threw on a robe and made a Kahlua cappachino. That's one shot of espresso, one shot of kahlua and a lot of hot frothy milk on top. Warms you all over.

I sat cradling my cup watching the rain through the french doors that lead to my balcony. The only sounds were the rhythm of the rain hitting the balcony roof and the odd car driving on the streets below. I just sat, staring off into nothing – until my attention was caught by a light coming on across the street. I had known that the building across the street was being renovated, I just hadn't realized that they were finished. At one time it had been a prosperous mercantile bank but now it was becoming a place for the riche to brag, "I have a little place in New Orleans' French Quarter."

Watching through my doors, I could see straight into the apartment across from me. I watched as the couple came inside. I wasn't being voyeuristic, I was just curious who my new neighbors were. What I saw nearly made me leave. A tall man, well dressed strode in pulling on a rope. At the other end, a woman with the rope tied around her hands and attached to a collar around her neck – a slave. The sight made me sick. New Orleans has its fair share of kinks and a lot of them are my friends, but there had always been something about being a slave that I couldn't and didn't want to understand.

I'm not psychic, although several of my friends might tell you other wise. But there are certain buildings I won't walk into in New Orleans. The Old Absinthe House on Chartres was once a slave auction house makes my skin crawl every time I'm near it. The Lalaurie house on Royal is a famous haunted house where it is said that Madame Lalaurie beat several slaves to death. That story is known to be false, but something evil happened in that house and I will walk on the other side of the street to avoid it. The Blacksmith Shop on Bourbon is said to have been the meeting place of the pirate Jean Lafitte, but I would bet you good money that blacksmith branded humans for their owners. Everyone has walked into rooms where two people have been fighting and can feel the tension in the air, I just continue to feel it long after the people are dead. The thought of being a slave, I associated with these places I can't stand to be near.

The "Master" brought the woman into the room so that I could see her move under the light. They must have come from some fancy dress party because her dress had a tight bodice on top with long skirts and many petticoats – a ball gown from two hundred years ago. The light fell on her so that I could see her more clearly. Her hair was dark, piled up on top of her head. The exposed flesh at her neck and arms were a warm café au lait color, she may have been a tan white or what New Orleanians call a bright – a very pale black person. The dress was a delicious yellow brocade with frothy white lace at the cuffs and a square neckline exposing her graceful neck and the beautiful upswell of her breast. The man wore a very elegant dark coat with an embroidered vest underneath. His hair was a warm brown color, long in back and tied with a ribbon. His face had that rugged tan look of someone who has spent much time outdoors. He still held onto the rope. In his other hand, I failed to notice, he carried a riding crop. The "Master" circled behind her and the crop came down on her back. She didn't flinch, she didn't even move. Except to turn her head and look straight at me. I knew she couldn't see me, not really. The apartment was dark and the balcony and rain would make it impossible to see into my apartment, but that look – it riveted me to my seat. I couldn't move if I wanted to.

The man rained several more blows to her back and to her skirts. There must have been so much material there that she couldn't feel them. But the sight angered me none-the-less. Why did this woman allow herself to be treated in such a way? Was she nuts? Women have had to work so hard in this society just to be treated as equals, how could this unknown woman allow herself to be treated as less? And if she were truly a bright, then how could she dishonor her ancestors so?

The "Master's" arm must have gotten tired because he finally stopped. He walked around until he was facing the woman, grabbed her face in both hands and kissed her savagely. There was no love in that kiss. He took from her all that her mouth would give. When he was done, she raised her still bound hands in front of his face and he immediately fell to untying the bonds. I watched as he frantically pulled on the knots, her head bending each time he pulled the rope that was also attached to her neck. When he was finished with her hands, he untied the rope from her collar at her neck. The collar, I noticed, stayed on. The woman said something to him, he walked behind her and began to unlace the dress. I idly thought that they must have been part of a recreationist society for the dress to have laces and not a zipper.

Once the dress was unlaced, it fell into a buttery pool at her feet. She stepped out of it, now clad in petticoats and to my surprise a corset. The man bent and picked up the dress, bringing the cloth to his face and inhaling the scent of her. He reached to her petticoats and untied them, another step forward and she was clad only in stockings and corset. Gathering up the bundles of lace, he stood before her. Suddenly, her hand shot out and slapped him across the face. She must have put some real strength behind that slap because his head snapped to the side. Now I feared for the woman. Surely as his "slave" he would punish her. Instead, he fell to his knees, his forehead touching the ground between her feet. The "Master" now groveling before the "slave."

Her lips moved, he looked up. She raised one foot and his beautiful, masculine hands came up, one to hold her calf and the other to remove the shoe from her foot. He brought the shoe to his face and inhaled deeply, his chest expanding to fill his coat. He set the shoe aside and carefully placed her foot back on the ground, she raised her other foot. The ritual was played out again to my wondering eyes. This time, however, after he set the shoe aside, he raised her foot to his mouth and kissed the inside arch of her foot. The man began to shower kisses all over her foot until she kicked him, hard, on his collarbone and sent him sprawling.

The man lay there, as if waiting for instructions. She must have said something to him because he came back to her on his hands and knees, groveling once again between her feet. By now it was obvious to me that he had a thing for her feet. She stood over him, glowing in the light. I was awe-struck and felt that I should be groveling at her feet as well. She may have been a slave when she walked into that room, but now she was filling up with power. She had the man stand and he began to remove his clothes. It had been so long since I had seen a man naked, I watched hungrily, impressed without wanting to be by his physique.

He was tall, but not overly tall. He towered over the woman, but I suspected that everyone would tower over her. He was lean, but not heavily muscled. He looked like the type who enjoyed the outdoors, but never felt it necessary to work out. When the coat, vest and shirt came off I could see that his tan extended at least to his waist. His stomach was flat, but he had enough meat on him and a line of dark hair made a line that forced the eyes to follow. His nipples were two dark stains centered evenly and I itched to run my hands over his chest to see if his nipples were as sensitive as mine.

His shoes and socks came off in short order. As he was reaching for his laces on his waistband, he stopped. His hands fell away to his sides and his head bowed. The woman glided up to him, but now she had the riding crop in her hands. She took that crop and caressed his chest with it just as I wanted to do with my hands. She rubbed the tip around each nipple and then followed that line of hair downwards. At the waistband she stopped, reversed directions in came back up slowly. Would she hit him with it? Would she hit his beautiful face with the crop as she had done with her hand? Why else would she have the crop if she wasn't going to use it on him?

With one hand she began to caress his back with the riding crop, while with the other she began to unlace his britches. She came very close to him, so close her breasts were almost touching his chest. Once unlaced, her hand disappeared down the front of his pants. I imagined her soft hand finding his cock hard and ready for her. She moved closer and her lips fastened around one nipple. Abruptly she stopped, walked behind him and wailed that crop across his ass. He immediately fell to his hands and knees and she wailed that upright ass some more. I squirmed in my chair. I could almost feel that whip across my ass and I didn't know if I was frightened or turned on by that thought. She must have decided that whipping him through britches was no good because she grabbed the pants and pulled them down to his knees, exposing his bright red ass to my view. She hadn't broken skin, but his butt sure was red. One of her silken hands came up and caressed the two soft moons. He shuddered, I could see it. She reached between his legs. Whether caressing his cock or his balls, I couldn't be sure, a flash of lightning momentarily blinded me from the sight.

As if the lightning signaled the end of something, the slave stood up, shed the last of his britches and waited for the Mistress. She came around behind him, carrying the same rope she was tied with earlier. His hands came behind his back and she tied them together, then ran the rest of the rope down between his ass cheeks, between his legs, across his chest and finally tied a lasso around his neck. Now, if he moved his hands upward, he would catch his balls and choke himself at the same time. I was impressed.

The Mistress moved around to the front of the slave, again taking a nipple within her mouth. Her hand moved down, stroking his now freed prick bringing it to its beautiful long length. She slid down the front of him, trailing kisses all across his stomach until she her face was even with his crotch. Her small pink tongue came out and licked just the very tip making his cock jump. She smiled, licking a few more times, tasting, savoring.

The Mistress left the slave standing there, watching as she crawled on all fours across the room to a chair. Her naked ass visible above the stockings. I'm sure this also offered him a wonderful view of her plump pussy. The Mistress climbed up into a wingback chair, threw both legs over the arms and proceed to finger herself. She dipped a finger down into her warm hole and brought back glistening wetness that she then rubbed over her clit. She outlined those beautiful full nether lips with her own juices while the slave just watched. I was filled with lust for both of them. I wanted to bury my head in her crotch while he pumped me from behind. I wanted to hear both of them cry out as they reached orgasm. But most of all, I wanted them to bring me to an orgasm.

The slave fell to his knees. I'm sure the rope gave a painful tug to his balls because I watched a flicker of pain cross his face. He crawled over to the chair. She pushed his face to the floor. With the slave's hands tied behind him, he had to rest his upper body on his chest. The Mistress took the riding crop and inserted the handle into her juicy pussy. Pumping it in and out a few times and then gliding the end to her swollen clit and back again. The same instrument that he used to inflict pain, she was now using to inflict pleasure. Once it was sufficiently wet, she bent over his back, tits brushing against him and placed the crop handle near his asshole. I saw him tense, she just smiled. She rubbed it around in small circles around his hole until he visibly relaxed, then she rammed it home! His head jerked up, pulling on the rope and knocking her off balance. Her face became a mask of cold fury.

She pulled off both her stockings and stuffed them into his mouth. With the riding crop still up his ass, she took one of his shoes and began to beat him with it. I wanted to scream at her to stop. That was no way to treat another human being. I wanted to hold him and make sweet love to him. But soon I realized, that while she was angry, she didn't use anything that would do him permanent damage. If she had beat him with the crop, he would have been bloody by now. At least with the shoe, while it might hurt and the skin turn red, he would not be damaged. And that, I finally understood, was part of the game. Once her fury spent, she climbed back in the chair. She grabbed a handful of his hair and placed his face directly in front of her waiting pussy. She pulled the stockings from out of his mouth and rubbed them over twat, mopping up the musky juices. She threw one, then the other over the riding crop so that the ends hung down across his thighs. Then she grabbed his head and brought it to her dripping pussy. I could imagine his tongue delving deep within her waiting channel. Juices rushing forth that he would then transfer from his tongue to her greedy swollen clitoris. Loving, sucking, breathing on that little knob and his tongue always there. To have the slave's nose buried deep, smelling those warm animal scents emanating from her nether lips. I wanted to feel that, too. The Mistress writhed in her chair holding onto his head, burying his face deeper still. My own fingers reached beneath my robe, finding my warm wet slit. I rubbed my finger up and down as I imagined his tongue doing the same to the lovely Mistress across the street. She must have come, her head was thrown back and she was still while his head still bobbed up and down, licking up the last of the juices. My own hand was covered with warm stickiness.

The Mistress climbed off the chair, pulled the riding crop from the slave's ass, swatted him once – but he didn't even flinch and hauled up on his head so that he was kneeling once again. He shuffled around so that he was facing her once again. She slid her hands up along the corset, cupping her breasts through the fabric. She must have wanted to feel him inside her and he certainly looked like he was ready for her. His long staff standing straight out from just above his sac. She knelt before him now, facing out the window, staring straight at me! I swear she saw me, smiled and wiggled her glorious ass against his crotch. Bending down between her legs, she must have grabbed his cock and guided it into her wet well. A look of pure pleasure crossed both their faces. She had to control all the movements because it took all he had to keep his balance. The Mistress began to rock back and forth on her knees, slamming that glorious prick into her. As her movements became faster, so too did mine. I rubbed, pinched and pulled on my clit. They had excited me into such a frenzy. Thunder rolled in louder and louder. Lightning split the sky and still the three of us worked towards a climax. With the next bright flash, I came, my moans barely heard within the sound of the thunder.

When I was finally able to look back out across the street, the lights were out. I could no longer see my beautiful Mistress and her handsome slave. I knew that this episode had come to a conclusion. I could only hope that within the next few weeks, I could meet my new neighbors and confess to my voyeurism. Maybe then, they would help initiate me into this wild, wonderful world.

The next morning, eager and hopeful, I stopped Don, the owner of the building, as he unlocked the doors. "Don, I noticed you finally had new tenants move in."

He looked at me queerly, "Elaine, I don't have any tenants living here yet. We're not set to lease any of the apartments for at least three months."

Confused, I said, "But Don, I saw lights on last night on the third floor."

"That's impossible, we don't even have electricity wired up there yet, darlin'."

I turned, making my way down the still damp streets. When is a slave not a slave? When she is truly the Master of the situation. I don't know who I saw that night, but it helped me begin a journey. Not into darkness as some would have you believe, but a journey into myself and my own power as a woman. I have since learned a Mistress does not have to be cruel, she must only be in control…

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